The personalization market is one of the fastest growing subsets of any technological industry, and it is no wonder. With teens driving the market and dictating most of the new products and features when it comes to MP3 players, cell phones, PDAs and Internet websites, it is this population that is most interested in the personalization market, therefore investing the dollars.
So what exactly is the personalization market? For cell phones, it's the ability to truly individualize your phone to your needs and desires. There are several popular ways consumers are personalizing: changing the outer shell on a cell phone (via skins with unique colors, patterns and logos), changing the wallpaper on the screen, and perhaps most popular of all, setting unique ring tones for each caller, typically of the most popular song of the moment It should come as little surprise that it's the teenage target market that is taking advantage of the personalization market most. Of the current 180 million cell phone users in the U.S. today, teens comprise a large percentage of this population, and they are the ones spending the money most frequently.
It's the old nickel and dime trick that companies truly grow on. By offering the most popular ring tones (that sound almost exactly like the actual song), kids want what's hot NOW. When that song slips off the charts and a new one replaces it, it's the teens that are willing to pay the $2.99 for the new tone. For the population making a minimal paycheck with no real financial responsibilities, three dollars every two weeks isn't much. For the companies offering this, even just a fraction of the 180 million cell phone users doing this means big money.
To add to the growth, the personalization market developed the technology to assign an individual ring tone to each new caller, so now teens are buying ring tones by the half-dozen every few weeks.